A day after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) octroi collection took a sharp hit with senior officials admitting that collections could continue to be hit on Thursday. Octroi collection is a major source of revenue for the civic body. Officials from the assessor and collection department of the BMC said the total octroi collection so far has crossed Rs 4,000 crore in the current financial year. Of it, around Rs 1,000 crore has been generated from crude oil.
On an average, the daily octroi collection from all five collection nakas, excluding crude oil, is around Rs 13 crore. Of which, around 40 per cent is in cash, said an official.
“After the announcement, we accepted the octroi payments in cash till midnight. Today, we asked our staff to collect the payment through cheque wherever there is an issue of cash. Along with cheque, we are also asking for PAN cards, Aadhaar cards and other ID proofs just to ensure the proper collection,” said Bapu Pawar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner.
Pawar added that though the octroi collection is slightly reduced on Wednesday, it is likely to dip further on Friday. “We are allowing payments through cheques due to the unprecedented decision about currency notes. If a cheque bounces then we can take legal action as per law,” he added.
Another official said there is no provision to accept the octroi through cheques. “We used to accept it till 2008. Then, the issue of having no provision of cheque was raised and we stopped collecting the payment through cheques. Since we don’t want to stop the collection, the instructions about cheques have been given,” explained the official.
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After recording the lowest revenue collection from octroi in several years last year, the civic body’s octori collection has gone up this year. The civic body’s estimated revenue from octroi is Rs 7,000 crore for the current financial year. Last year, the revenue generated from the octroi was Rs 6,276 crore as against the estimated revenue of Rs 7,900 crore.
Meanwhile, many citizens were inconvenienced as the BMC’s ward level citizen facilitation centres (CFC) also did not accept Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. In the CFCs, the water and property tax, licence and RTI fees, demolition cost with others are collected. “We received some complaints about citizens asking to take these currency notes. But we asked them to either give cheques or carry out online transactions,” said a senior official.